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Beetles in Maine


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Alright everyone. I was wondering if you guys could help me out here.  I have been told by several sources that there are Lucanus Elaphus in Maine, but they are very rare. I know I have found stags as a kid, but they weren't very big, nor were they all that impressive looking. 

I have been finding conflicting information about whether or not L.elaphus are here or not. One website says yes while others say no, the general consensus seems to be no, so I just want to know because I based a project on trying to attract stags in Maine with different baits and might need to rethink my project despite already putting my foot in my mouth and saying "My project is to find stag beetles by luring them in with bait."

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I would check all the near by states(New Hampshire/Vermont etc), if all of them have elaphus then there's a high chance.

My personal guess is no though. it seems too far away from their most populated location.

Lucanus species are not foodies. They don't eat much compared to Dorcus and Odontalabis ...etc.

However, they seems to fly to lights more than many other stags.

Btw, from my observation, L. elaphus comes out in bulk for 3 weeks within a year, 1st week males, the later 2 weeks females. Took me 4 years to figure this out.

If you missed it, you will have to wait for another year.

I drove 5000+ miles just to observe elaphus this year.


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If you’re looking for area data, check inaturalist, as that seems to be a good check. Otherwise I would avoid looking online, as many websites have false or unpacked data on the ranges of insects, although bugguide.net might be more accurate (I would definitely avoid Wikipedia, insectidentification.net (I’m pretty sure that vinegaroons don’t live in Georgia lol) and any non-entomologist-run websites (including blogs, info pages, etc). The book of beetles (Patrice Bouchard) appears to state the the species doesn’t range further than New York (in the book the states aren’t labeled, and continents are the only regional boundaries), beetles of eastern North America (Arthur v evans) (almost certainly the most reliable book for finding ranges on eastern beetle species of any kind) states them only ranging north to Pennsylvania. I’ve never seen any sources state they range further north, so it seems quite likely that the answer is no, they don’t live in Maine, or near it sadly. Now if you ever happen to be in Georgia, they’re plague here, and I’ve never even seen a capreolus in the state. 

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Thank you for your response, Bugboy, it looks like I have some reading to do. I had originally received my information off Insectidentification.net and when I saw that L.elaphus was supposedly in Maine, I kind of ended up hoping that that website had known better than the others that said L.elaphus was not in Maine, denial is a cruel mistress I suppose. 

I would love to try and make some sort of journey for collecting bugs next summer, Maine doesn't really have that many interesting bug species, but they probably aren't interesting to me because I live here. 

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It mainly depends on the species you’re looking for. Elaphus are limited to the southern parts of the range (supposedly they go no further than New York, and likely are extremely hard to find that far north, while you can find dozens per day down here) while capreolus are common up into Connecticut (and I believe adjacent Canada).

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